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Entries related to: yoga

Why Yogis Need Anger

The following is an excerpt from my forthcoming book on Yin Yang and Elemental Yoga.  Of all the emotions in Chinese Medicine and Philosophy anger (the emotion of the wood element) may be the most difficult to resolve for yogis. As you engage in spiritual life no doubt you have been taught that anger is “unyogic” and divisive. It is easy to see that most other emotions have the power to unite people. We commiserate and console in times of grief, laugh together in moments of joy, reach out for comfort and support in our fear or worry.
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Introducing Our Brand New Virtual Book Club

A few years ago a handful of my yoga/ entrepreneur pals and I started a monthly book club with the intention of reading books to help us both personally and professionally. We did the things most book clubs do. We picked a book, read as much of it as our busy lives allowed and then got together to drink wine, eat snacks and burst into fits of giggles over whatever shenanigans ensued that evening.  In the midst of all of that, we did manage to discuss the book of choice, and I am glad we did. Those books allowed me to break out of my old ways of thinking and working. Soon after life got very busy. A few of us had children and we all started new branches of our business ventures. Trying to get everyone together on a regular basis, let alone read an entire book each month became difficult.  However, I still yearn for those great discussions and the growth that can be sparked by a good book. That is why today we are officially launching The Aquin Yoga Virtual Book Club. This is free and open to everyone in this tribe with the intention of helping us stay connected and engaged beyond the mat.
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Yin Yang Playlist: Tunes to Bring On Spring

Spring is taking it's sweet time from where I am sitting. On this gloomy day I wanted to share some of the songs I am flowing to right now that get me feeling lively on my mat until the sunshine and warmer temperatures decide to stick around.
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Yoga on the Beach {VIDEO}

A few minutes of yoga is 100% better than none at all. A good friend said this to me years ago and since becoming a parent, this could not be more true. Like so many of you, I have had to learn to adapt my practice in a way that supports my new lifestyle.  The transition into parenthood brings with it a serious learning curve. On top of the beautiful and challenging effect a tiny person can have on your world, the physical transition plus the lack of sleep can make yoga a life raft instead of a hobby.  In February when our little one was four months old, I had a few precious moments to practice in the warm sand of a black sand beach in Maui. Here is part of that practice (no narration on this version, just the waves).
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Yoga and Living Your Wildest Dreams

Yesterday I woke up very early. Actually, I was woken up by a symphony of birds living in the tree outside of the condo we are renting in Maui. Steve and I, along with our sweet little baby are starting the second half of a month in Hawaii. The next two weeks will be our official vacation. No work or meetings for him, no teaching or course creation for me. If we feel like working on our various creative projects we can, but the focus will be on renewal and adventure.  We got up early and had a two hour class with our inspiring meditation teacher trainees and I spent most of the day finishing work, accompanied by Audrey laying beside me on the patio enjoying the endless birdsong. I don't say this to make you feel jealous (especially my beloved Canadian friends who are all telling me how cold it is at home right now) but this is my personal heaven. I am beyond grateful to be here right now, in this place, at this point in my life, living my dreams. I wanted to share this with you because there is a magic in making this trip happen that deals in the domain of yoga and I hope that my contemplation might help you make your own dreams come true, on and off the mat.
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A Winter Yin Yang Yoga Playlist

Every Friday night for about five years before I moved to the US, I taught a Yin Yang Yoga class for the amazing students at De La Sol Yoga in Hamilton, Ontario. Our Friday nights together felt like a total yoga party. We came together to practice, end the week and celebrate life during a 75 minute class that flowed (the yang part) into a series of long held postures (the yin part). It was definitely a highlight in my week of teaching and I still think about it every Friday night.  In honour of that amazing group of yogis who joinned me each week, I put together a playlist. If I were heading to teach that very class tonight, here is what I would play to warm us up on this cold winter's eve.
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Replace Your Resolutions, Try These Tools Instead

If you know me, you know I don't much care for the ritual of making annual resolutions. However, I can't deny that this is a wonderful time of year to reflect on all the changes can happen in just journey around the sun.  This past year was spent making space for our little one and while that was the main event, I also published my first book, traveled all over the continent, got married for a second time (we had the Canadian edition of our wedding this summer), and made deep connections with the amazing people I met along the way.  There were so many wonderful and unexpected moments to celebrate this past year and yet it wasn't until I sat down to write it all out that I realized just how fantastic it really was. 
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Join my yogi birthday party

Today is my 33rd birthday and you had better believe I am celebrating. In years past, I asked my yoga students and friends to help me celebrate by making donations to support water projects for charity:water or even to join me for 24 and 48 hour meditation marathons. This year things are a little different... Six weeks ago, Audrey was born and there simply hasn't been time or mental bandwidth to prepare a birthday fundraiser. Instead, Steve and I donated half of our worldly possessions as we transition to a much simpler way of living. I have blogged about this before but the criteria for purging our excess stuff was simple. If it wasn't actively useful or we wouldn't pay to have it shipped if we moved far away, it went into the donate pile. When I was a kid most of my wardrobe and many of my toys consisted of hand-me-downs from other families so it brings me joy to pass along things I no longer need or love to someone who will appreciate it. It feels wonderful to be helpful to another even in small ways. My birthday wish is for you to feel good and do some good too.
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Elemental Yin Yang Yoga: Metal and the Art of Letting Go

“At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honey sweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Cézanne This week I am deep in the writing process for my new book on Elemental Yin Yang Yoga. Since fall has arrived with such fortitude here in New England, it is only natural that I devote my time to the Metal element.  If you aren't as familiar with the Chinese philosophy of the 5 Elements as you are with other systems, the concept of Metal and its attributes may not feel as relatable as the others. However, in Yin Yang yoga, metal has an important role in rounding out the practice so it is vital to understand. Autumn is the perfect time to connect with Metal on and off your mat and I hope these musings and exercises inspire you to deepen your personal relationship with this beautiful element. The Season of Metal Fall is a magical time and an important season for the Elemental yogi. After the warmth and expansion of the summer, autumn allows one to reconnect to their practice and integrate all the breakthroughs the heat may have afforded. Autumn reminds us that life is not permanent as we watch the changing and falling of the leaves. The final harvest begins and the crisp cool air of this beautiful season helps us to reflect on all of the accomplishments of the past year while inspiring us to make sure our preparations for winter have begun. Autumn is ruled by the Metal element and this is by far the most challenging of the Five Elements for many yogis to grasp. Since Metal doesn’t immediately seem like a natural extension of the other elements it often takes more time for yogis to feel connected to. To help you relate to the seasonal nature of metal try this exercise.
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Back to (Yoga) School

Depending on where you are in life, "back to school" time is either a let down, full of excitement or a huge relief (parents, I am looking at you for that last one). While I am an enthusiastic fan of all things summer, I do love the transition and the cultural shift as a new year of learning and possibility is placed before so many minds collectively.  The personal pull towards intellectual expansion is something you may feel more strongly at this time of year as well. As a yogi, you are constantly learning how the body moves in different postures, how the practice changes your energy, mood and expands your perspective. In the spirit of supporting your own continued learning, I have been busy creating a few programs over the summer that you may enjoy. Whether you are looking for a fun and free morning yoga boost or are ready to take the plunge into teaching yoga and meditation, I have something just for you.
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